May 9, 2017 7:00:00 AM EDT  |  Culture  |  Facilities Support Services  |  WELL Building Standard

In Search of WELLness: Serving Sizes

Small changes in the kitchen or break room can encourage your employees to make healthier choices.

Healthy Eating sign with a beautiful dayIt’s so easy to over eat. Modern American food packaging and serving sizes have become far more than what our bodies need, leading many of us to become overweight and unhealthy. 

In the work environment, desserts in the cafeteria, vending machines, and birthday parties add unnecessary calories to employees’ diets. WELL certification standards have addressed the growing concern of employee obesity.

WELL Standard #47: Serving Sizes addresses meal sizes and outlines set sizes for cups, bowls, and plates that should be available in the workplace. 

For companies that offer meals to employees, there should be an option to buy an entree that is 650 calories or less and is also less expensive than the regular version.

Colorful empty shiny plate on grungy background tablePlates must be no larger than 9.5 inches, bowls no larger than 10 ounces, and cups no larger than 8 ounces. By keeping dinnerware to a reasonable size, employees are less likely to consume larger qualities of food and drink. 

These small nudges are forms of “choice architecture” to help guide our employees to make the best possible decisions.

In our HQ expansion space, Markon only offers 8-ounce coffee cups and has switched to 8-ounce soda cans. While Coke Zero is the most popular at our office, when individuals do choose a Coca-Cola Classic or a Dr. Pepper they are taking in less than 30 grams of sugar.

The company Precise Portions has taken this a step further and offers dinnerware to organizations that, not only fits WELL Standard 47, but that also suggest how much of your plate should be vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates.  Another good place to start is by addressing vending machines. 

Companies can choose to offer smaller sizes of sugary beverages and select only healthy options for snacks. Many food manufacturers offer 100-calorie serving packages, “heart healthy” snacks, and 8-ounce soda cans that help cut down on calories.

These solutions can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of employees while being subtle and not heavy handed. Promoting healthy portions in the workplace is a great way to show you care about employee health. 

Most employees have at least one meal a day at work; make it an opportunity for them to eat right!

Original article published on LinkedIn by Ray Carney, WELL AP.

About the Author

Ray Carney

Ray Carney

Ray Carney, WELL AP is a Vice President at Markon Solutions and a champion for wellness in the workplace. Ray’s areas of expertise include workplace strategy and modification, design thinking, leadership, sustainable design, data centers, and creating secure environments. His experience includes providing cradle-to-grave project management support for the successful design and build of secure facilities. He also spearheaded the tenant fit-out of Markon's headquarters expansion to ensure that it achieved WELL certification. This was the first WELL certified project in the Commonwealth and was recognized by the City of Falls Church for its achievement. Since joining Markon in 2007, Ray has managed numerous internal program strategies, capture efforts, and client engagements. He also co-developed Markon's in-house Leadership Development Program. Prior to joining Markon, Ray consulted for prestigious consulting firms in the DC metropolitan area and Ohio. Ray's passion for wellness in the workplace has led him to speak at numerous engagements around the country including the National Facilities Management and Technology (NFMT) Conference and Expo. He also published an article on WELL Building Standards in FaciltiesNet. Ray was named one of Engineering News-Record Midatlantic's 2016 Top 20 Under 40 for contributions to the industry. He received his MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Finance from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in Management with a concentration in Business Technology from John Carroll University. Ray is a WELL Accredited Professional, LEED Green Associate, Six-Sigma certified Yellow Belt, certified SCRUMMaster, Sun Certified Java Programmer, and holds the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential as well as both ITIL v3 Foundations and Quality Management certifications.